Two Poems by Jodie Baeyens


“I don’t want to disappoint you,”
He says as he tries to convince me
He’s not perfect.

As if I think he’s perfect.

With that crooked nose
That causes soft snores

That head that surely
Makes his Mama’s hips still hurt

Though damned if I care
About those things

The wounded puppy heart
So big and so broken
Capable of love
But scared to love anew

And those eyes
Brown in some light
Green in others
A bursting star of both
When the sun hits just right
Are not conducive to
Quick poems about gazing
Into your lover’s soul

I could sit and list his flaws
As easily as I list his graces
With the depth and detail
Only a poet could convey

And find no more
And no less
Beauty in either

No, he’s not perfect
Nothing worth exploring
Ever is


The shirt you gave me
When I left
No longer smells like you.
You took it off with a sad smile
And handed it to me to place
In a Ziplock bag
As you did before every trip.
You knew I didn’t
Love you anymore.
You knew that I was never
Coming back.
But it brought comfort
To us both, going
Through that same routine.
At first I pulled it out
On lonely nights and inhaled
The scent of sweat and cigarettes
And a life left behind.
Eventually it got mixed
Into the pile of clothes and
Placed in a drawer.
You called last night
To tell your kids you love them
And sent a picture of your sad smile
When they, too busy to come to the phone,
Told me to tell you they love you too.
Today I found that shirt.
I buried my face in it
And inhaled. But there was
Left of you.

Jodie Baeyens is a single mother and poet who teaches to support her writing habit. When she isn’t trying to find the pen she was just holding, she can be found in the forest dancing beneath the full moon. Originally hailing from New York, she now considers herself a citizen of the world because she has never felt that she belonged in any one place. Her poetry was recently featured in Door is a Jar and in Peregrine’s Fall Journal. Her forthcoming chapbook, Conversations We Never Had, was the Winner of the 2022 Vibrant Poet Award. Follow her writing at or on Facebook.

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